• Eric Narriz

Is Your Job Obsolete?

2016 greets us with a global economy that has quite significantly changed from how we’ve viewed it for several years in the past. For one, employers are predicted to match or even exceed the millions of jobs created last year...but the sort of jobs seem to be increasingly different from before. The main reason for this? The digital revolution.

Future-thinkers McKinsey & Co., recently, estimated that 45% of all activities humans perform in the workplace can now be done by software or existing machines. And this percentage is seen to even rise in the future.

According to McKinsey, it’s not only blue-collar, routine and mechanical jobs that are increasingly driven obsolete by automation. Also, more and more CEOs will find themselves doing work that can easily be automated.

Tireless, precise, and highly compliant robots taking on what used to be human tasks (and better at that!) will probably be a regular sight, with human workers working alongside them and, in contrast, constantly losing importance in the workplace. It isn’t really so far-fetched, for workers across several types of industries truly face the reality that they are soon going to be supplanted by machines.

Already, McKinsey foresees that several job types will soon have about 85% up to even 100% of their tasks have machines rather than humans as the pre-ferred executives. These categories are textiles, pack-aging, coating, painting and meat-cutting. Needless to say, numerous people work these mostly lower-skill jobs that machines can undoubtedly do better. This tra-jectory of technology towards the eventual replace-ment of masses of workers in these fields has been underway for several years already and has shown no signs of relenting.

Also vulnerable to this trend of humans being out-moded by tech are the multitudes in bookkeeping, ac-counting, auditing and billing clerks. Software, even as simple as an app, can now help individuals and small businesses track their bills, invoices, expenses and taxes, replacing the clerical staff who do much of these chores. Of course, really good auditors and account-ing wizards who can deal with various and complex tax and financial scenarios still command indispens-able ranks.

McKinsey also pointed out the jobs of mechanics and automotive technicians. With cars and basically the larger portion of the transport sector now utilizing computers and sophisticated electronics, simple soft-ware can often already do most of the job for the hu-man mechanic and technician, whether these be mea-suring speed, engine performance of street traffic, or even when tuning up or repairing vehicles. The auto-motive industry’s increasing utilization of tech, like Glo-bal Positioning Systems, engine micro-chips, infra-red sensors and bluetooth connectivity, obviously changed as well the very methods by which new vehicles are operated, repaired and maintained—to a point that com-puters will do a better job that human technicians in diagnosing car trouble, in effecting preventive mainte-nance or in adjusting instruments to precision. And since machines are becoming, not only ultra efficient but also intelligent, fewer and fewer people will be needed to run them, as many are already running by themselves. Robotic bulldozers and Smart graders are also on their way to kick out the construction workers and heavy equipment operators from their employment niche’.

Bakers and butchers have professions that’s been in existence since time immemorial. Nowadays, how-ever, these classic jobs have become considerably less secure. Hundreds of thousands of them are in peril of losing their jobs to Smart appliances with capabilities that could match the work of ten bakers, or ten butchers, without having to sleep.

If the said professions are indeed on their way to extinction, and so have no more future, there’s really no reason to start sniveling in desperation. Working class people are generally known to tough it up, no matter what the situation. Though scores of profes-sions will be driven to obsolescence, these will be off-set by emerging ones, many of which are related to the same changing force that’s been threatening our careers: digital technology. Besides this, McKinsey enu-merated several jobs that are likely to hold their lon-gevity through this awesome and mind-boggling, era.

Freight, stock and material movers are here to stay, says McKinsey, as these jobs have little or none to automate yet so far. Yes, a lot of transportation jobs can be automated, but moving stuff around still re-quires a lot of people, as in maintaining cargo facilities, etc. Home health aides and caregivers, because their jobs require a personal touch and the ability to respond to a patient’s needs (as a person), are also safe from being passe. It’s the same with management analysts, since they make strategic decisions based on data, fi-nancial performance and company priorities. No ro-bot can probably replace a Sales manager yet, as there is nothing like the human touch to motivate and over-see the people who bring in sales and revenue to the business. And, lastly, being councilors of the spirit, priests should be safe. Chances we’d see a robotic minister soon are, understandably, slim.

#Science #Business